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For proper eyesight, the eyes need to work in unison with each other and with the brain. In instances when this system breaks down, the result can be amblyopia or lazy eye. In the majority of occurrences of ambylopia the actual eyes are typically in good health but the condition is not correctable by just the use of prescription eyeglasses. If untreated amblyopia can result in severe visual impairment, including blindness in that eye.
Amblyopia is the most common cause of sight impairment in childhood. Usually beginning in the developmental stages of infancy, the disorder can be challenging to discern. Early diagnosis and treatment improve the chances of complete recovery. Patients that don’t begin treatment until adolescence or adulthood don’t usually find as successful results as those who start treatment earlier.
This is why it is important to have your child’s eyes and vision tested early on in development. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should receive a comprehensive eye examination by the age of six months and another when the child turns three.
What Causes Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)?
Amblyopia occurs when the eyes or visual system do not function in unison. The most common cause is strabismus, a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned. Strabismus can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore aren’t able to work together. Sometimes amblyopia is caused when the eyes have different levels of acuity. This is the result of a condition called anisometropia. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other optical diseases such as a cataract or some other pathological problem.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
Treatment for lazy eye is directed at attaining proper binocular vision. Along with the use of prescription lenses, the most common way to do this requires making the child use the eye with the reduced vision. A few treatment options exist to do this and the treatment plan is selected according to the individual circumstances and a consultation with an eye doctor.
Very often doctors will prescribe a patch used to be worn over the better eye. A patch compels the patient to use the weaker eye, which promotes vision in the underdeveloped eye and assists the visual system in the brain develop more completely. Nevertheless this treatment largely depends on compliance of the patient to wear the patch, which can be a problem with many children.
Some optometrists opt to use atropine. When applied to the good eye, atropine drops obscure the sight and therefore stimulate the patient to use the weaker eye.
Some patients can be treated by vision devices alone, such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses that restore vision to each eye, yet this is not usually the case. Additionally, vision therapy to train the eyes to work in unison or in some cases surgery might also be options.
Because lazy eye is the result of a disruption in the proper development of the visual system, the younger the age at which treatment begins, the higher the chance of success. However, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who suspects they or their child has lazy eye should schedule an appointment immediately with their optometrist If you are looking for amblyopia treatment in Duvall, WA, be in touch to book an appointment. Lazy eye doesn’t heal itself so don’t delay in starting to repair your eyesight!